Saturday, July 7, 2012

Catching up

I apologize, I realize I'm a few days behind on blogging! Just a heads up- we legitimately have homework now so I'm thinking this might be a consistent pattern.

Thursday, July 5th-
Lauryn & I were in the Pro-Life clinic Thursday morning. A nurse named Cecilia sees patients here all day- many patients are pregnant or in between pregnancies, but we have seen a couple older women post-menopause. I have had a few OB  rotations here now, so I'm starting to feel pretty comfortable with finding baby's heartbeat, understanding what I'm seeing on an ultrasound, and determining the baby's position in the uterus. There is almost no concept of birth control here, as there is no separation between church & state (Peru is very Catholic)... many women have lots of babies very close in age. Unfortunately, it is also very common for fathers to abandon the pregnant mothers, especially if they are young. Cecilia serves as a huge source of support for these women, and refers them to psychological services if needed. We spend a lot of time at the clinic preparing women to be mothers.
Cecilia & I at the clinic

Listening to heartbeat- this baby was all the way on his mom's right side and moved around a lot!
(Don't even pretend you aren't jealous of my animal scrubs)
In the afternoon, more home visits. I'm amused at the things I'm starting to consider normal, such as:
-Chickens running across my feet while I'm taking vitals
-Having to walk around dog fights
-Nothing being clean, much less sterile
-Killing bugs myself
-Blood pressures over 200
-Muchos besos (kisses)
-Everyone wanting me to hold their child
-The paparazzi (everyone taking pictures of the gringas, which is actually an endearing term here I guess)
-Trudging through dirt and sand to get to a patient
- Bug spray as perfume 24 hours a day
I'm sure there are more, I'll add to the list at some point...

Friday, July 6-
We only had clinical in the morning on Friday, and class in the afternoon.  I spent my morning translating for a pediatrician from Arizona. This was interesting because I am still not fluent, especially in medical terms. We made it though, with a little help from a Spanish-English dictionary. My brain was definitely in overdrive from 9-1. By the end of the day I was getting much better than at the beginning. I have added lots of words about breastfeeding, vaccines, cold/flu, and child development to my vocabulary. Shoutout to my 2-year-old at St. Francis Children's Center (I volunteered there last semester) whose first language is Spanish: I appropriately used "kaka" many times (which means poop) thanks to her. I frequently heard "Hope, I kaka" during these last few months.
We mostly saw colds with bad coughs. One girl had recently had toxoplasmosis and came in to make sure she was still doing well. A lot of patients come in with a stack of papers of labwork done elsewhere for us to interpret. A baby came in with hand missing some bones- we took pictures to send to a surgeon who is coming down in August.
Another interesting case was a girl whose mother brought her in because she hadn't been talking much, especially for her age of 7. The ENT (ear/nose/throat doctor) removed some lovely chunks of earwax, so maybe it was partially a hearing problem which is what he thought. The psych major in me is kind of convinced she may have autism... 1. Her mom says she prefers to be alone when I asked if she plays with other kids at school or home. 2. She seems to hear and not respond to her mom. 3. She began talking at a normal age and was using sentences but no longer seems interested in talking. 4. She seemed more fixated than normal on playing with her fingers during the exam and didn't look us or her mom in the eye. OK maybe this is only an interesting case to me. And maybe I am wrong and have taken too many psychology classes/service learning (only one more til I'm done with the psych major).

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